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“So what Jesus did in his private life,” she concluded, “is totally up to him.”

… “So you’re saying that it’s possible that Jesus sinned?”

“It’s possible. He was human too, but people overlook that.”

“The teaching of the Catholic Church is that he was also God. God can’t sin,” I said.

“Well, then,” said the young lady who was raised a Catholic and is currently taking a theology course at St. Mary’s, “I guess you have your answer about human sexuality. It must not be a sin either. That’s another thing, I don’t want to start with sin because I have a big thing with the Catholic Church with that because I think that sin is something that they impose on us to make us feel bad about things that we do. It’s a lot of control … This is one thing that I’ve experienced for myself. I mean, my life and seeing things.

I was beginning to feel that I was talking to a character out of a Martin Scorcese film, a sort of female Travis Bickle.

“I know people who are divorced who are very devout Catholics who don’t participate in Communion because they are divorced. And that’s a sin in the Catholic Church’s eyes.

“What’s a sin?”

“Divorce is a sin.

“No it isn’t.”

“Yes it is,” Miss Canda insisted. “They consider that a sin. To devout Catholics, yes, they do. Then they deny themselves the right to take part in Communion, which is a community thing.”

“No, it’s divorce and remarriage,” I said.

There was a pause.2

2Fidelity (U.S.A.), November, 1989